BTE Racing's Engine Cooling Tips for Drag Cars

BTE Racing's Engine Cooling Tips for Drag Cars

Experienced drivers know that excessive heat kills transmission and torque converter components. Drag racing frequently stresses even the best racing transmission and causes it to heat very rapidly. This is a well-established and widely experienced issue in the drag racing world, and BTE technicians are often asked about the best ways to manage this problem. Check out our best engine cooling tips below.

In the middle of the steamy summer, Elapsed Times (E.T.s) can vary greatly when transmission temperatures rise above ideal operating temperatures. But did you know that for every 20°F your transmission heats up, the lifespan of your transmission and transmission fluid is also cut in half? Use these engine cooling tips to extend the life of your setup and keep your drag car at peak performance.

  • If your car is driven on the street or back to the pit area after making a pass, always run a cooler and, if possible, an electric fan.

  • DO NOT use a looped cooler line. In a powerglide transmission, a looped cooler line dumps the automatic transmission fluid at its highest temperatures (directly from the torque converter) into the gear set and clutch packs. THIS CAUSES EARLY FAILURE OF ALL COMPONENTS.

    • BTE recommends using a high-quality cooler. We offer transmission coolers from Derale.

  • For high-powered setups where a ringless input shaft is required, our high volume pumps are designed to maintain good cooler flow and pressure when used with our ringless input shaft.

  • DO NOT install a ringless input shaft in an OEM-style pump as it will have little to no cooler flow or pressure, resulting in all of the super-heated transmission fluid dumping directly into the gears and clutch packs. THIS CAUSES EARLY FAILURE OF ALL COMPONENTS.  

  • If your car is towed to the starting line and towed back to your pit area after making a pass, there is little time for a cooler circuit to have any effect on the transmission temperature. Therefore, it is ok to run a looped cooler line or use an input shaft setup that has no provision for the cooler circuit. In this scenario, the transmission and torque converter will still be extremely hot after making the pass. We recommend using an external cooler, or even a high velocity fan or leaf blower directly aimed under the car for some cooling effect.

  • Use a quality automatic transmission fluid. BTE Racing ATF is a blended fluid made by Lucas Oil. (Synthetic and semi-synthetic fluids mange heat better than conventional fluids and also maintain better lubrication than alternative oils.)   

If you are having trouble in your drag racing car with failed parts or inconsistent performance, a few adjustments to your setup can make the difference between broken parts and making it to the Winner’s Circle. Check out our tune-up services and contact BTE Racing today for help optimizing your drag car.

Posted by Amber Ambrose at 4:43 PM